The 2014 Blacksburg O-Zone team went 1-1 in the opening weekend of the Dixie District 3 All-Star Tournament. The team got a tough draw, randomly selecting the defending District & State Champs in the first round. The game ended after 5 innings via the 10 run rule.
In the losers bracket, Blacksburg played Radford, who lost a very close contested game vs. Montgomery County the day before. Radford jumped out to 2-0 lead after three innings, but the O-Zone team battled back in the top of the 4th. Leeander Wilkes reached first base on a dropped third strike and then Tyler VandeVord hit a hard single to advance Wilkes to 2B. Eric Heinze then hit a single to load the bases. After an out and with bases still loaded, Aiden Seeley hit an RBI single to score Wilkes from 3B. VandeVord scored from second due to an error on the first baseman to tie the game at 2-2. Seeley advanced to 2B on the play. Logan Vance then hit a RBI ground out to the SS, scoring Heinze from 3B and Blacksburg took the lead 3-2. A fly out ended the inning for the O-Zone team, but not before a huge change in momentum.
Radford scored a run in the bottom of the 4th to tie the game 3-3.
In the top of the 5th, Ryan Shultz was HBP and then advanced to 2B on a passed ball. However, Shultz was stranded after three consecutive Blacksburg outs.
Radford took the lead in the bottom of the 5th 4-3, that pressured Blacksburg into a must score situation to keep the game going.
In the top of the 6th, Blacksburg would rally and re-take the lead. Heinze drew a lead off walk to get things started, and then Sam Helton hit a hard line drive, but was caught by the 3B. After a second ground out, Heinze moved to 2B on the play, but the O-Zone teams back was now against the wall. Blacksburg coaches made an offensive substation, inserting the speedy Wilkes into run for Heinze at 2B. Logan Vance hit a hard line drive past the left fielder for a triple, scoring Wilkes to tie the game at 4-4. A balk call then scored Vance from 3B and gave Blacksburg the lead 5-4. Blaize Bulter reached 1B on a infield error and then stole 2B. However, he was called out stealing 3B to end the inning.
Defensively, Blacksburg needed three outs to secure the win. Radford’s lead off hitter reached 1B via a single, but then Blacksburg’s pitcher, Sam Helton forced a fielder’s choice and a pop up to the catcher for the first two outs of the inning. Radford would then steal 2B and then advance to 3B on a passed ball. Helton struck out the last batter to end the game for Blacksburg 5-4.
Sam Helton pitched all 6 innings for Blacksburg and got the win on the mound. He scattered ten hits, struck out seven, and did not walk a batter.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Logan Vance who was 1/2 with a triple. Tyler Vandevord, Eric Heinze, Aiden Seeley, Ryan Schultz, and Levi Linkous each added a hit as well.
With the win, Blacksburg advances to play Pulaski at 6pm at Harkrader Complex in Christiansburg.
Tag(s): 11-12 O-Zone